Dead Meadow - The Nothing They Need

by Nathan Fidler Rating:5 Release Date:2018-03-02
Dead Meadow - The Nothing They Need
Dead Meadow - The Nothing They Need

The Nothing They Need marks 20 years as a band for Dead Meadow, plying their trade as a fuzzy, prog-psych band. Often listed as stoner rock, they’re not alone in their genre (Black Mountain spring to mind) but they are forging music in a niche which doesn’t ordinarily get much love.

‘The Shaky Hand is Not Mine’ is a great place to dive in; riffs simmering and shimmering. The tempo is typically slow, but the crooned melody is perfectly matched to the march of chords and drums.

There are moments which blister, such as the aforementioned track, and others which wilt under the length of the track. ‘The Light’ for example, is a moody bass driven slog, with a smattering of deep organ playing, but running at 8 minutes on such a slow tempo makes you zone out. When it comes to psychedelic prog rock, this may be what fans want, but it doesn’t lend endear itself to anyone not looking to lose themselves in the wash slow burning, dunes of guitar.

‘Keep Your Head’ manages to keep a six minute track interesting, with the slightly more joyful basslines adding a little uplift to proceedings. ‘Here With Hawk’ also goes off-message a little too, inflating the riffs and shoving them off downstream, but nothing much changes over the course of two minutes to urge you to stick it on repeat.

Ever wanted a little jazzy sax with your “stoner rock”? Then look no further than ‘Rest Natural’ which allows things to eventually slip into the absurd as the track closes out. A fully instrumental track, this is the moment where an oasis appears before your eyes, only to recede back into arid desert.

Dead Meadows won’t win any new fans over who aren’t already dedicated fans of the genre, and nothing they do brings anything new to the table. What they do, they’re good and solid at, so if you want your heavy, fuzzy rock slowed to a crawl, then knock yourself out with this - anyone looking for even an ounce of pep however, should quickly move along.

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